There is a lot to say when the author talks about public transport in London. Not all of it is good. Actually most of it is not so good. To be totally exact most of it is bad.
The tube stops round midnight for example. On the weekend it is rather normal that whole lines are not working. Once I remember the whole station I use for transportation was closed which made the situation in the buses – the alternative to the underground trains – not really better. Since we talk. The busses are a topic on its own. There is already a vague timetable telling that the certain line will arrives every 8-12 minutes. What of course means that it is highly possible to wait like 20 minutes just to welcome 2 or even 3 buses of the same line in a funny treck steering through the London traffic. And some of the routes are so strange that it happend several times to the author that he spend 15 minutes in a standing bus waiting for a car to move so the bus can drive through a tiny road. What again is an impressive thing specially if one sits at the front window of the upper deck and is witness of the stunts the busdrivers preform on their tours. This feeling of course is vanished when one watches a bus which was suppost to take one the road decides to drive through – does not matter if you signal or not (it took the author 15 minutes and two missed buses to learn (teached by a 12 year old boy in school uniform) that a bus does not stop just because someone waits at the bus station). But lets come back to the tube situation which is as the author sums up is the worst of the entire public transport.
It is not only difficult when there are no trains, in fact during the day it is oftewn not much better. The tubes are so full in the rush hours that one has to let pass two or even three trains just to have a chance to push some people aside and squeez into the little spot between the human wall and the merciless closing doors. Specially people bigger that 1,80 face the threat to get an unpleasant slap on the head when the train departs, in any case it will be an uncomfortable ride standing like a question mark trying to ignore the high temparatures and the lack of fresh air, additional to the to expected smell of too many sweating bodies.
But let me give some positive impressions too. One has to admit that the british – or lets say the londoners – take all this with a patience which is admirable. Surely, when the author once tried to go through rush hour with 2 big suitcases slightly unsure where to go and what train to take, he had to face some views which to call hostile would be an understatement. Still it was a british gentleman way of looking hostile, a signaled “blimey”, spoken with the utmost disgust possible for the son of a british gentleman. But understandable as the frequent tube user needs all patience for the trains and so nothing is left for a tourist who dares to slow down the business hours for the citicens.
But i remember that i wanted to say something positive. And here the Overground starts to get important. Sure, this is maybe because the author has the luck to have an overground connection between work and home and that it tskes only one stop, but the overground between Whitechapel and Shoreditch High Street is normally rather empty and the ride therefore very comfortable. And afterashort ttime the author stoped wondering why the stairs to the overground lead down – those to the underground upwards. It is maybe just one of the many things the tourists wonder about where the locals just rise an eyebrow and mumble a “however”.
Oh finally,in the end, one positive thing: the so called boris bikes which offer a cheap and comfortable transportation for short distance rides.
If it does not rain.